It’s probably the least known of the trifecta of celebrated holidays during the month of December. It’s reminiscent of Hanukkah with its colorful candles with a fusion of African roots and Christmas flair. Although the holiday is often thought of an alternative to Christmas, Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday that can be celebrated by people of any faith.
Kwanzaa has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with peacefully coming together to share traditions with friends and families during the holiday season. A college professor, Maulana Karenga, created the seven-day celebration, which lasts from December 26 to January 1, as a way of uniting and empowering the African-African community in the aftermath of the deadly Watts riots. However, according to Karenga, non-blacks can also enjoy Kwanzaa (History.com). (more…)
He stared blankly from across the table, which sat right in the middle of the white tiled floor, and off into some distant corner where one of the several armed guards happened to be standing. The white walls that housed the other men, who wore the same blue pants and a long-sleeved pull-over shirt in a light shade of blue that he did, also sat with friends and family members who came to visit them. The inmates, and those willing to step foot inside the prison, filled the spaces of the cafeteria-like arrangement of tables. They spoke about life on the outside and brought stories and pictures of lives that the men in the prison were missing out on, and if you actually looked into the eyes of the men that were on the inside of the metal fences woven together at the top with barbed wire and the occasional security camera lens, you could see the aching feeling of regret and sadness of how their lives have all ended up behind bars in prison. (more…)